The effects of gypsum and mulch applications on reclamation parameters and physical properties of an alkali soil

  • Cagla Temiz
  • Gokhan Cayci


Alkali soils have undesirable properties for crop production. However, these problematic areas can be reclaimed and regained for cultivation. Mulch materials have been used in the past to decrease salinity damage in saline soils. But information about using mulch materials for alkali soil reclamation is rare. The aim of this study was to determine the combined effects of different levels of gypsum applied with straw or pumice mulch materials on the reclamation of an alkali soil. Results obtained from soil extracts during the leaching water cycles showed that gypsum and mulch materials caused significant differences in sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) and electrical conductivity (EC) values. Major reclamation parameters of soil samples were also determined after the addition of 140 cm of leaching water. The exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) significantly decreased from 18.43 in the initial soil to as low as 2.31 in 0–15 cm soil depth samples and 10.53 at 15–30 cm (P < 0.05). The various treatments were related to significant decreases in SAR, EC, and lime content in reclaimed soils. The amount of water stable aggregates (WSA) increased significantly after reclamation. Although hydraulic conductivity values also increased, the increase was not statistically significant. The fastest water flow rate was observed in the 100% gypsum requirement (GR) and straw mulch treatment. In contrast, the slowest water flow rate was found in the 50% GR and unmulched treatment, and the differences in means were significant. Overall, the 100% GR and straw mulch treatment was most effective in decreasing soil alkalinity, improving soil structure, and reducing reclamation time.


Wheat straw Pumice Leaching Aggregation Infiltration Soil reclamation 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the Scientific Research Projects Coordinator (BAP) of Ankara University (Project No: 14L0447002).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgricultureAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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